Everything you need to know about the functions of leadership. Leadership requires better understanding of human psychology so that those who are leading and those who are being led may be in a position to learn all about each other as far as possible.

This is also required to attain the objectives of the enterprise with – (i) smoothness, (ii) efficiency, (iii) sound judgement, and (iv) fairness. A business leader does not represent himself only but his enterprise as well as his staff. That is why he has to work in unionism and with utmost co-operation.

Leadership transforms potential into reality. In the process of transforming the potential of subordinates, a leader is required to carry out many functions.

Some of the functions of a leader are:-


1. Leader Develops Team Work 2. Representative of Sub-Ordinates 3. Appropriate Counsellor 4. Uses Power Properly 5. Manages the Time Well 6. Strive for Effectiveness 7. Make the Environment Conducive to Work 8. Integrates the Efforts of the Followers and the Organisational Objectives

9. Performs the Functions of an Intermediary between the Top Management and the Work Group 10. Work as an Appropriate Counselor 11. Taking the Initiative 12. Representing the Enterprise 13. Interpreting 14. Guiding and Directing the Organisation and a Few Others.

Leadership Functions: Develops Team Work, Manages the Time Well, Strive for Effectiveness, Interpreting and a Few Others

Functions of Leadership – Important Functions the Leader Performs (With Common Leadership Activities)

Leader is not a lay-figure. He has much to do. The functions may be relatively straight-forward. In the wake of vast and rapid technological changes leader has to perform multifarious functions.

Some of the important functions the leader performs are giving under:


1. Leader Develops Team Work:

The three vital determinates of team work are the leader, sub-ordinates and the environment. These factors are interdependent. It is the leader’s responsibility to make the environment conductive to work. He inculcates the sense of collectivism in employees to work as a team.

2. Leader is a Representative of Sub-Ordinates:

He is an intermediary between the work groups and top management. They are called linking pins by Rensis Likert.


3. Leader is an Appropriate Counsellor:

Quite often people in the work place need counselling to eliminate the emotional disequilibrium that is created sometimes in them. He removes barriers and stumbling blocks to effective performance.

4. Uses Power Properly:

If a leader is to effectively achieve the goals expected of him, he must have power and authority to act in a way that will stimulate a positive response from the workers. A leader depending on the situation exercise different types of power viz., reward power, conceive power, legitimate power, represents power and expert power. Besides the formal basis the informal basis of power also has a more powerful impact on organizational effectiveness. No leader is effective unless the sub­ordinates obey his order.

5. Leader Manages the Time Well:

Time is precious and vital but often overlooked in management. There are three dimensions of time, boss-imposed time, system-imposed time and self- imposed time that is prominent in literature. Because the leader has through knowledge of the principles of time management such as time preparing charts, scheduling techniques etc., he is in a position to utilize the time productivity in the organizations.

6. Strive for Effectiveness:

Quite frequently the managers are workaholic and too busy with petty things to address to major details of effectiveness. To fill the gap, sometimes leader throws his concerted effort to bring effectiveness by encouraging and nurturing team work, by better time management and by the proper use of power.

Leadership is rather examined in personal characteristics than in terms of activities.


Herbert G. Hicks refers the following as common leadership activities:

1. Arbitrating:

Often members disagree on the best decision for an organizational matter. An effective leader often will resolve such disagreement by arbitrating on making the decision on the course of action to be taken.

2. Suggesting:


Suggestions are often employed by an adroit leader for a long-term. Suggestions are likely to be a powerful tool in the manager’s kit.

3. Supplying Objectives:

A manager often personally supplies the objectives for the organization. The manager must see that the organization is always supplied with suitable objectives.

4. Catalyzing:


In organization some force is required to start or accelerate movement. A leader is expected to provide such a force.

5. Providing Security:

In organizations personal security is often a significant factor. A leader can provide a large measure of security by maintaining a positive and optimistic attitude even the face of adversities.

6. Representing:

A leader usually treated as the representative of the organization.

7. Inspiring:


Many persons work more productively in organizations when their leader keeps them known that the work they do is worthwhile and of important.

8. Praising:

Managers can help to satisfy the needs by their sincere praise.

The functions discussed above are of an ideal leader. Though an ordinary leader cannot perform all these functions; but he should do his best in the interest of sub-ordinates. Hence, Stogdill is right in saying that “Leadership is consistent with problems of human performance and interaction”.

Thus, it can be said that a leader has the function of leading the group of his sub-ordinates. As leader, he has not only to show the way but also to lead the group towards it. Because of this, Haiman says, “It is leadership for the mutual objectives and that is not sheer weight of authority or power.”

Functions of Leadership – 8 Important Functions of Leadership

Leadership requires better understanding of human psychology so that those who are leading and those who are being led may be in a position to learn all about each other as far as possible. This is also required to attain the objectives of the enterprise with – (i) smoothness, (ii) efficiency, (iii) sound judgement, and (iv) fairness. A business leader does not represent himself only but his enterprise as well as his staff. That is why he has to work in unionism and with utmost co-operation.


The important functions of leadership are as follows:

(1) The Main Function of a Leader is to Make the Environment Conducive to Work:

He studies the followers individually. He instills in them the interest to work. He creates proper environment encouraging the inquisitive employees and by prohibiting insidious elements. He inculcates a sense of collectivity in employees to work as a team.

(2) Leadership Integrates the Efforts of the Followers and the Organisational Objectives:

Leadership directs the efforts of the group towards the attainment of objectives of the organisation of which he is a part. As each individual performs a part of the total work, an interaction of these parts of the whole is of paramount importance towards the attainment of goals.


(3) Leadership Performs the Functions of an Intermediary between the Top Management and the Work Group:

Renis Likert has called them as “Linking Pins.” As linking pins, leaders integrate the whole organisation. They represent the work group before the top executives and also represent management before the work group. The effectiveness of an organisation depends upon the strength of these linking pins.

(4) Leaders Work as an Appropriate Counselor:

The leader provides the workers counseling to eliminate the disequilibrium created in the organisation. He removes all barriers and stumbling blocks for effective performance. He releases the emotional tension of the sub-ordinates and thus restores equilibrium.

(5) Domination or Use of Power:

A leader must use power and authority in a manner that will stimulates a positive response from the subordinates. Depending upon the situation a leader uses different types of power, i.e., reward power, coercive power, legitimate power and expert power. A leader may be effective only when his subordinates obey him winningly. So, he must use the power in the best interest of the group he leads.


(6) The Leader Must Have a Thorough Knowledge of the Principles of the Time Management:

He may monitor the time in the interest of the organisation.

(7) Leader Should Develop a Climate of Co-Operation among Workers:

Leader’s style and its approaches play a very important role in developing industrial harmony. Leader should develop co-operation among the sub-ordinates to achieve a common goal.

(8) A Leader Must Communicate the Organisational Policies, Procedures and Programmes to the Members of the Organisation Group:

He must communicate authority and responsibility of each individual in the group so that the workers may know what he has to do and what not and how to do it. He must also communicate the results of his performance, good or bad so that he may improve his effectiveness.

Functions of Leadership – Taking the Initiative, Representing the Enterprise, Interpreting, Guiding and Directing the Organisation and Encouraging Team Work

The functions of a leader can be detailed as follows:

Function # 1. Taking the Initiative:

The first and foremost job of a leader is to take the lead in all activities. He should not depend upon others for guidance and direction to do any work. He himself should be present in the field, lay down the goals, commence its implementation and see that the goals are achieved as per the predetermined targets.

Function # 2. Representing the Enterprise:

Since a leader is the true representative of the entire organisation, he should represent the enterprise and its objectives not only to those serving in it but also to the others in the outside world.

Function # 3. Interpreting:

A leader is expected to give reasons for his every order. It is a delicate task of the leader. He has to give instructions in such a way that they are clear to all concerned. If the instructions are irrational, they are bound to be ineffective.

Function # 4. Guiding and Directing the Organisation:

It is the primary function of the leader to guide and direct the organisation. He has to issue the necessary orders and instructions and see that they are communicated properly. He should guide and advice people and direct their behaviour for the achievement of organizational goals.

Function # 5. Encouraging Team Work:

Without team work, a leader cannot succeed-in his task of accomplishing organizational goals. Thus, a leader must try to win the confidence of his sub-ordinates.

Functions of Leadership – With Three Basic Types of Leadership

Managerial leadership has usually some delegated power to support his position. But it should be clearly understood that managerial leadership must be based on Influence and not merely on power and authority. Influence, i.e., voluntary ac­ceptance of guidance and direction by subordinates, should be the primary motivating force in most situations.

A managerial leader has to rely rather heavily on man-to-man relationships that are normal with an informal leader. Use of power and authority stifles self-expression. It induces a subordinate to please his boss rather than achieve objectives. It cannot gene­rate initiative, enthusiasm and voluntary cooperation. Hence, influence (the voluntary acceptance of guidance and direction) should be the main motivator in management. Let the power play only a supporting role.

A leader leads by personally and actively working with his subordinates in order (a) to guide and motivate their behaviour to fit the plan and jobs that have been established and (b) to understand their feelings and problems which they come across when they implement the plans. The word personally suggests that leadership must be based on close interpersonal man-to-man relationships.

The word actively implies that leadership is a dynamic and never-ending process as we live in a dynamic environment involving ever-changing plans and problems, ever- changing feelings and attitudes of subordinates. A managerial leader performs two vital functions.

1. Guidance and Motivation:

Plans are to be implemented. We have to convert blue prints into action. This requires con­tinuous guidance, direction and motivation. The manager gui­des, directs and motivates his subordinates who work with and for him to accomplish the results as per plans and policies. Guidance and motivation reflects the impact of a leader on his subordinates. It also represents downward communication.

2. Understanding Problems and Feelings of Subordinates:

Empathy is defined as the ability to place oneself in the posi­tion (mind) of another, simulating that person’s feelings values, problems and prejudices and such an understanding of the feelings and attitudes of the subordinates is the second vital function to be performed by a leader.

It is many a time ignor­ed by people who over-emphasize the one-way flow of commu­nication, i.e. downward flow of orders and instructions from a higher to a lower executive or operator.

In leadership, upward flow of information la the form of feedback is equally vital and very useful to management. It helps in making manage­rial decisions. It enables a continuous reappraisal of the ma­nagement structure. Similarly, personal two-way communica­tion has a positive influence on the feelings of subordinates.

It helps to build good morale. A manager should try to under­stand the feelings and operating problems subordinates face as they translate plans into completed action.

In fact, subordi­nates are permitted and encouraged to adopt feedback device giving information from highly subjective personal responses to day-to-day information on operating conditions. Such a re­turned flow of information is necessary for the manager’s sub­sequent decisions and actions. Operating facts as well as prob­lems and feelings of subordinates are important elements in many managerial decisions.

In short, for effective co-operative action we want two-way traffic of communication, viz:

i. Downward communication in the form of guidance, direction and motivation; and

ii. Up­ward communication in the form of feedback of information through face-to-face contacts.

There are three essentials of sound leadership action:

1. Use of Persuasion- A leader must talk in the language which his subordinates can understand. Then only persuasion can deliver the goods.

2. Calculated Risks- A leader must take calculated risks.

3. Voluntary Co-operation and Discipline- He must develop voluntary co-operation and voluntary discipline. Self-imposed discipline is most effective in practice.

When employee wants are reasonably satisfied and they have full confidence in their leader, voluntary co-operation and voluntary discipline can be easily developed.

Leadership style is the way a managerial leader applies his influence in getting work done through his subordinates in order to achieve the organisational objectives. The main attitude or belief that influences leadership style is the perceived role of the manager versus the role of the employees.

He may to adopt conservative style if he sees attitudes and beliefs under Theory X are apparent. If the manager perceives his role more as a colleague, and decision, leader (not maker), and if the workers show the readiness to participate in problem-solving and willingness to shoulder extra responsibilities, the mana­gerial leadership style is bound to be liberal as per Theory Y.

Broadly speaking, there are three basic types of leadership:

i. Autocratic or Dictatorial Leadership:

The leader assumes full responsibility for all actions. Mainly he relies on implicit obedience from the group in following his orders. He deter­mines plans and policies. He regards decision-making to be one-man show, he is himself the sole decision maker. He main­tains highly critical and negative attitude in his relations with subordinates.

He freely uses threats of punishment and penalty for motivation, and obedience. It may work in the short run e.g. in emergency or war. When we have untrained, undisciplined, illiterate and unorganised labour, it may also be effective. But it does not provide a solid foundation for continued perfor­mance. Subordinates have no scope to influence the decisions of the leader.

It demoralises them, retards their growth, lowers the quality of performance. Morale is low. There is no scope to create and develop managers; it only creates messengers. Benevolent dictatorship assumes paternal role and stresses fatherly influence. Instead of threats, the leader uses bribery. Otherwise it is just like autocratic leadership.

ii. Democratic Leadership:

A leader draws Ideas and sugges­tions from his group by discussion, consultation and participa­tion. Group members are duly encouraged to demonstrate ini­tiative and creativity and take intelligent interest in setting plans and policies and in decision-making. The leader’s job is largely that of a moderator.

Though the leader has veto power, we have maximum participation in decision-making process. Participation in decision-making assures better labour management relations, higher morale, greater job satisfaction and reduced dependence on the leader. The leader encourage delegation of authority. We have two-way flow of communica­tion.

Democratic leadership offers a number of benefits:

i. Greater employee and group co-operation.

ii. Greater employee and group satisfaction.

iii. Higher employee morale.

iv. Im­proved decision-making, planning and organisation.

v. Re­cognition of human relations.

vi. Highest personal growth and development of employees.

Democratic leadership can win easily confidence, co-operation and loyalty as well as initiative of the group. Active participation in the management by labour
assures rising productivity and satisfaction. However, democra­tic leadership needs favourable conditions.

Labour must be literate, informed, organised. Trained personnel can develop self-discipline and can take sound and independent action. La­bour must develop higher level egoistic wants such as demand for status, prestige, recognition, appreciation, etc. Democratic leadership relies heavily on non-financial incentives.

iii. Laissez-faire or Free Rein Leadership:

The leader depends entirely on his subordinates to establish their own goals and to make their own decisions. He lets them plan, orga­nise and proceed. He takes minimum initiative in administra­tion or information.

He becomes just another member of the group. He becomes merely information booth. He is on hand mainly to provide materials, information, etc., with minimum control. Free rein leadership is suitable for highly trained and professional staff. They are creative, self-motivated, require minimum guidance and control.

An autocratic, non-participative leadership is apparently most effective (especially if benevolent) when decisions are routine, there are standard procedures and rules, and sub­ordinates do not feel an urge to participate.

Supportive, participative leadership is apparently most effective when decisions are not routine, information and rules for decision-making are not standardised, and subordinates feel the need and urge for independence, initiative and self-expression, and their participation is legitimate. When supportive leadership is combined with efficient managerial functions, we have both high productivity and high satisfaction.

Functions of Leadership – Accessory Functions and Primary Functions of a Leader

Whenever we talk of leadership, it is assumed that this leadership has so many functions inherent in it. Since leadership is an abstract quality and function, it can be identified only by its use through functions. In other words leadership as one of the functions of management process is performed by taking up and doing some certain functions.

Same way if an individual is entrusted with some job which he willingly accepts, its performance now becomes his responsibility. A manager when acts as a leader he, willingly and by virtue of his status, accepts leadership as a function. He, for leadership, performs these functions. Naturally, performance of leadership functions, now, becomes his responsibility.

A leader i.e. a manager has to accept the responsibility of successfully putting his efforts, though related to the group which he leads, for accomplishment of organisational goals. Thus functions to be performed and responsibility go hand in hand. Because of this fact many management experts have described leadership functions as responsibility and vice-versa.

Krench and Cruchfield has classified leadership functions in two categories – (1) Primary and (2) Accessory.

The first category belongs to the functions which a leader has himself to perform whereas the second category functions are incidental functions under “Primary” category – (1) Executive, (2) Planner (3) Policy maker (4) Expert (5) External representative (6) controller of internal relations (7) Purveyor of rewards and punishment and (8) Arbitrator and mediator.

All these functions represent leadership functions right from the top boss to the lower level manager. As seen above accessory functions are incidental to the status of a leader. A leader has to lead his followers that means the followers follow the same path which is chosen by the leader and through which he marches ahead. If a manager has to work for the final accomplishment of organisational goals, he has to choose a correct path.

Accessory functions of a leader, therefore, are as follows:

1. He has to set an example because the followers have to follow it.

2. The leader leads a group. Integrity, loyalty, morale etc. of the group is, generally assessed through the leaders. Thus he becomes a symbol of the group.

3. Being a leader and symbol of the group the responsibility of the group becomes his own responsibility. In others words he has to act as Substitute for individual responsibility.

4. The leader leads a group. Thus the ideology of the leader is accepted by the group members. It, therefore, becomes the duty of a leader to be a good ideologist.

5. Being higher in the rank and status than the follower (members) he has to adopt paternal attitude towards his group members. Thus he becomes a Father figure.

6. A leader is held responsible for the success or failure of the group led by him. Naturally he is taken to task in case of failure of the group, though the work is not actually performed by him. In other words he is made a Scapegoat.

Mr. Bennis has enumerated leadership functions on the basis of problems which a leader has to face. To lead means to resolve the problems of the followers and to guide them in right direction. Mr. Bennis has stated the ways i.e. what a leader should do? to solve the problems.

All other experts have enumerated the leadership functions on the same lines, they are – (i) Milius, (ii) Dennis, (iii) Killion, (iv) Peter Drucker.

“An effective leader is one who can make ordinary men do extra ordinary things, common people uncommon things. Leadership is lifting of man’s sight to higher vision, raising of man’s standard to higher performance, building of man’s personality beyond normal limitations.” – Peter Drucker

What Peter Drucker has stated in above lines is a crux of leadership function.

In order to achieve this a leader has to resort to following functions in addition to the primary functions:

1. Determination of realistic, factual performance objectives in terms of quantity, quality and safety.

2. A leader should make the resources that are required by the workers for proper performance of the task, available in time and in quantity as well as quality.

3. He has to keep proper and effective communication with his workers and supervisors in order to know and convey instructions.

4. A leader should prepare a plan and structure for the rewards and identify the areas where workers avoid work in order to punish them, if required.

5. He should delegate a part of his authority to his subordinates, wherever and whenever possible He should look forward for the participation of workers in decision making.

6. He should arrange to remove barriers and stumbling blocks.

7. Performance appraisal of the workers and its communication to higher level is an important function also.

8. He should render service to beneficiary individuals.

9. He should take decisions only after observing the facts and circumstances.

10. He should respond to the workers and should ensure same response from them.

11. He should achieve co-operation and help of the workers towards accomplishment of goals.

12. He should be one of the group members but even then he should keep himself different from them.

13. He should integrate individual needs with organisational goals.

14. A leader should ensure industrial integrity.

15. He should resolve internal conflicts.

Functions of Leadership – 8 Important Functions

Following are the important functions of a leader:

1. Setting Organisation Goals – A leader is expected to perform creative function of laying out goals and policies to persuade the subordinates to work with zeal and confidence.

2. Creating Organisation Structure – The second function of a leader is to create and shape the organisation on scientific lines by assigning roles appropriate to individual abilities with the view to make its various components to operate sensitively towards the achievement of enter-prise goals.

3. Initiating action – The next function of a leader is to take the initiative in all matters of interest to the group. He should not depend upon others for decision and judgment. He should float new ideas and his decisions should reflect original thinking.

4. Co-ordination – A leader has to reconcile the interests of the individual members of the group with that of the organisation. He has to ensure voluntary co­operation from the group in realising the common objectives.

5. Direction and Motivation – It is the primary function of a leader to guide and direct his group and motivate people to do their best in the achievement of desired goals, he should build up confidence and zeal in the work group.

6. Link between Management and Workers – A leader works as a necessary link between the management and the workers. He interprets the policies and programmes of the management to his subordinates and represents the subordinates interests before the management. He can prove effective only when he can act as the true guardian of the interests of his subordinates.

7. Create Effective Communication – A leader is required to create effective communication system in the organisation. It is essential to convey messages, policies, and plans to various levels and also to get feedback on regular basis. Proper communication helps in achieving organisational goals.

8. Secure Co-operation – It will be with the co-operation of employees that organisational goals will be achieved. A leader has to involve people in various consultations and decision making process. The employees will happily co­operate when they are consulted on various issues. The willing co-operation of employees will help in achieving various goals.

Functions of Leadership – 10 Functions

1. Taking initiative – A leader has to take all initiatives to lead the business activities. He should not expect others to induce him to take initiative. He himself should come in the field and take all steps to achieve pre-determined targets.

2. Representation – A leader is a representative of an organisation. The leader represents the purpose of organisation to workers and outsiders.

3. Guide – The leader has the primary duty of guiding others. Proper direction should be given by a leader. If he does not do so, the organisation will not succeed. The leader should issue instructions and orders whenever needed. These instructions and orders should be properly communicated.

4. Encouraging others – The leader is the captain of a team. The leader must win the confidence of his colleagues before winning in a competition. The leader cannot succeed without teamwork. Encouragement is necessary to build up teamwork.

5. Arbitrator and Mediator – The leader can settle the disputes arising among the workers. Besides, he can create a smooth relationship among the workers. He performs these duties in a friendly manner. Generally, people accept friendly advice. Sometimes, the leader can act as a friend.

6. Planner – The type of activities or type of work is to be decided by the leader. The leader can decide when a work is to be done, where it should be done and by whom it should be done. This planning work is completed by the leader.

7. Rewards and Punishments – There is a standard for some set of work. Some workers perform their work within a standard time and properly. The leader can give rewards to those who have completed the work as per the standard. The leader can punish the worker who does not complete the work as per the requirements of job.

8. Integration – Each individual does a part of a whole work. They perform the work according to their specialisation. Here, there is a need for integration. So the leader integrates the efforts of all workers. In this way, integration is one of the functions of the leader.

9. Communication – Communication is necessary to every organisation. Nothing will succeed without effective communication. An effective communication system conveys the authority and responsibility to each individual so that he may come to know what he is to do and what not. An individual understands his authority and responsibility from organisational policies, procedures and programmes. The leader should arrange for an effective communication system in an organisation.

10. Production – A leader is expected to show high production figures. A production oriented style is followed by the leader. He should take all necessary steps to increase production.

Functions of Leadership

Leaders provide support and motivation to improve the performance of employees in an organization. They provide imagination, foresight, enthusiasm, and initiative to group members to have a uniqueness of interests, outlook, and action.

The functions of a leader are mentioned in the following points:

1. Delegating some part of authority to subordinates

2. Planning and organizing the tasks of organizations

3. Guiding, teaching, and inspiring the subordinates

4. Motivating the subordinates to improve the level of performance

5. Influencing the subordinates through rewards and punishments

6. Creating good climate to achieve maximum employee efficiency

7. Promoting and protecting the creativity and innovativeness

8. Developing and maintaining the skills of subordinates

9. Interacting with subordinates and solving their problems

10. Building and sustaining the effective organizational culture

11. Understanding the expectations and aspirations of subordinates

12. Managing the organizational resources

Functions of Leadership – According to D. Krech, R Crutchfield and E. Ballachey

Performance of Primary and Accessory Functions:

According to D. Krech, R. Crutchfield and E. Ballachey, a leader performs a variety of functions, which may be classified as primary and accessory.

Performance of primary functions is linked to the position held by leader vis-a-vis his followers who, for various reasons, look up to him for decisions on work-related matters.

The reasons why fol­lowers seek decisions from the leader may be described as follows:

(a) It is leader’s responsibility and function to make decisions as regards tasks assigned to follow­ers;

(b) Leader has formal authority to make decisions;

(c) Leader has control over various organization resources, namely, money, machines, informa­tion, etc.;

(d) Members of the team have duty to consult the leader about performance of jobs and work methods to be employed. Rules and procedures also require them to do so. Besides, there is long-standing tradition to consult the leader;

(e) The leader has freedom to modify, alter, and even cancel his decisions.

(f) He commands well-deserved reputation for his expertise and for making right decisions;

(g) He is personally linked by followers.

Functions of Leadership – According to David Bowers, Stanley Seashore and Killian

A leader, whether formal or informal, is required to undertake several functions in relation to his group. He has to knit the groups into a cohesive, disciplined and working unit. He has to give a sense of direction to his group members to develop, mobilize and utilize their efforts towards meaningful ends. He has to interact with, inspire and arouse group members to perform well.

He has to create the required environment and design and needed facilities and reward structure in which group members can effectively work towards group goals and derive satisfaction. He has to provide support to his group by understanding their value, needs and expectations and helping them to achieve them within the work setting as far as possible. He has to resolve conflict in the group, and make the group adjust to changes and cope with crisis so as to survive and achieve group goals.

David Bowers and Stanley Seashore classify the above functions into four categories for conceptual purposes:

(a) Support – Behaviour which enhances the members’ feelings of personal worth and importance.

(b) Emphasis on goals – Behaviour which stimulates enthusiasm for meeting the group goals with excellence.

(c) Facilitation of work – Behaviour which manifests itself in such activities as planning, scheduling, coordinating and providing resources, information and other infrastructure facilities.

(d) Facilitation of interaction – Behaviour which encourages group members to develop close and mutually satisfying relationship.

According to Krech, David and Cutch Field Richard S., “the functions of a leader are those of an executive, planner, policy maker, expert, external group representative, and controller of external relationships, purveyor of rewards and punishment, arbitrator and mediator, symbol of group surrogate for individual responsibility, ideologist, father figure and scapegoat”.

In the words of Peter Drucker, “an effective leader is one who can make ordinary man do extraordinary things, make common people do uncommon things. Leadership is a lifting of a man’s sights to a higher vision, the raising of a man’s standard to a higher performance, the building of a man’s personality beyond its normal limitations”.

In a study published by die American Management Association, New York, a leader’s functions, according to Killian are as under:

(i) To render service (by multiplying the contribution of every individual who is its beneficiary);

(ii) To take decisions (leading others to sufficient understanding, not a reckless shooting from the hip but a calculated searching for, and weighing of facts);

(iii) To elicit response (leading others to sufficient understanding of the need accomplishing the job in hand);

(iv) To achieve results (by guiding the energy of others in a definite direction for a specific purpose); and

(v) To be willing to be different (to have a discipline and a standard of performance which are higher than those of the non-leader).

Functions of Leadership – According to Krech and Grutchfield

Krech and Grutchfield give a list of 14 functions performed by leaders in general. A brief explanation of them is given here.

1. Goal Setter – A leader either establishes organisational goals and objectives himself or he may participate with his superiors or subordinates in establishing them.

2. Planner – This function is intermediate between the determination of goals and their execution. In this connection, the leader makes decisions concerning the ways and means with which the organisational goals can be achieved.

3. Executive – In his role as executive, a leader is responsible for seeing that the appropriate activities of the organisation are carried out.

4. Expert – The technical information and skills the supervisors possess are useful in aiding and instructing their subordinates in effective work procedure.

5. Surrogate for individual responsibility – The leader relieves other members of the group of certain responsibilities and they in turn place their trust in his decisions. For example, in an informal group of workers, one individual may be given the responsibility of passing on of complaints to the superior.

6. Controller of internal relationship within the organisation – It is the responsibility of a leader to see the various departments in his purview to coordinate their activities.

7. Administrator of rewards and punishments – As leaders, the supervisors encourage, upgrade and promote workers who deserve, and remove, transfer or dismiss workers who violate rules or regulations of the organisation.

8. Arbitrator and Mediator – The leader tries to maintain harmony among the members of the organisation. For example, the president of an organisation makes efforts to maintain harmony among competitive and ambitious Vice-Presidents.

9. Exemplar – Leader serves as an exemplar, a model for others to emulate. For example, the office manager who is invariably 15 minutes early at his desk in the morning is seeking to influence the members of his group by being a good example.

10. Symbol of the group – In this role, the leader provides a kind of continuity and stability to the group, standing for it despite changes in circumstances and membership.

11. Ideologist – The leader functions as an ideologist. By presenting his ideas concerning the group, he is a source of moral strength to them.

12. Father Figure – The leader, by functioning as a father figure, fulfils an emotional role for the members of the group. By identifying themselves with their leader, the members of a group draw strength and feeling of security.

13. Scapegoat – The leader functions as a scapegoat. He provides a ready target for the aggressions of the members of the group. Failure can be projected upon him. For example, the foreman in a production section may be blamed for any shortfall in production in his department and for insufficient co-operation on the part of the departmental manager.

Functions of Leadership – Develops Teamwork, Representative of Subordinates, Appropriate Counselor, Uses Power Properly and Manages Time Well

Leadership transforms potential into reality. In the process of transforming the potential of subordinates, a leader is required to carry out many functions.

1. Leader Develops Teamwork:

He inculcates a sense of collectivism in the employees and forces them to work as a team. Individuals, within the groups may possess varied interests and multiple goals. A leader has to reconcile these conflicting goals and restore equilibrium. On the best leaders, when their task is accomplished, their work done, the people remark, ‘we done it ourselves’. Dynamic leaders provide a satisfying work climate where the individual and organizational goals are well integrated and find meaningful expression.

2. Leader is a Representative of Subordinates:

He is the linking-pin between the work groups and top-management. As a representative of the subordinates, he carries the voice of the workers to top management. He forces the followers to have an identity of interest, outlook and action.

3. Leader is an Appropriate Counselor:

Employees often suffer from emotional disequilibrium in organizations. For instance, an employee may be frustrated over his inability to climb up the organizational ladder and subsequently gets derailed off the work track. Leader comes here, renders wise counsel and tries to remove barriers, real or imaginary, and instills confidence in the employee. Leadership creates a co-operative and wholesome attitude among employees for successful work accomplishment

4. Leader uses Power Properly:

Leadership is the ability of a person to arouse a group’s compliance and co-operation to his initiative beyond the normal call of duty. Leader holds power over his followers and this helps him in guiding, inspiring and directing group members achieve a unity of purpose and efforts. He exercises the power in such a fashion that the subordinates obey the orders of the leader willingly and come forward with commitment.

5. Leader Manages Time Well:

Unsatisfactory human performance in any organization can be primarily attributed to poor utilization of time. Mobilization and utilization of people in the service of organization demands judicious use of time and money. A good leader manages his time well by proper planning based on information and facts, and by arriving at decisions at an appropriate moment. He visualizes problems before they turn into emergencies.

Functions of Leadership – According to Ohio University, Selznick, Robert C. Miljas and Mintzberg

An Ohio University research study says that a leader has three functions:

1. Maintenance of Membership – The closeness of a leader to the group, the frequency of his reactions, and his acceptability to the group;

2. Objective Attainment – He should ensure that work patterns are stable and understandable, and that the objectives are achieved, and

3. Group Interaction Facilitation – He should facilitate effective interaction among the members of an organisation by means of a better communication system.

According to Selznick, the main functions of a leader are:

(i) To set an organisation’s goals with reference to its internal needs and external pressure;

(ii) To integrate the needs of the individuals with those of the group so that the goals are easily reached;

(iii) To maintain industrial integrity; that is, a leader should maintain institutional integrity and his organisation’s distinctive identity; and

(iv) To resolve internal conflicts; that is, a leader should bring about a balance between conflicting interests and resolve conflicts with the voluntary cooperation of all concerned.

There are many views on the functions of leaders determined by the level of management and the type of organization.

The main functions of a leader are:

1. To gain the commitment and cooperation of his team;

2. To get the group into action to achieve the agreed upon objectives; and

3. To make the best use of the skills, energies and talents of the team.

Apart from these functions, the leaders are also responsible for certain activities in the organisation.

Robert C. Miljas spells out leadership responsibilities in this fashion:

1. Determining realistic performance objectives in terms of quantity, quality, and safety.

2. Providing workers with necessary resources to perform their tasks.

3. Communicating with workers what is specially expected of them.

4. Providing an adequate reward structure to encourage performance.

5. Delegating authority where needed and inviting participation where possible.

6. Removing barriers and stumbling blocks to effective performance.

7. Appraising performance and communicating the results of evaluators.

8. Showing personal considerations for the employee.

Warren G. Bennis maintains that “the roles and functions of leader should be flexible. They should have the ability to adapt themselves rapidly to changing situations and learn to view their roles as temporary.”

Mintzberg suspected arrangement of group roles that leader may adopt:

1. Figure-head role;

2. Group leader role;

3. Information role;

4. Spokesman role;

5. Entrepreneurial role;

6. Resource allocator;

7. Disturbance handler;

8. Negotiator and conciliator; and

9. Liaison role.

According to Ken Blanchard, “What is important as a leader is not what happens when you are there, it’s what happens when you are not there”. A successful leader may not be either a strong leader or a permissive one rather, he is who/maintain a high batting average in accurately assessing the forces.